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The Declining Winter – Endless Scenery

The Declining Winter is the side project of Hood founder member Richard Adams. If you are not familiar with the works of Hood I’ll point you instantly in the direction of their opus, Cold House. After listening to Cold House you will most likely want everything by the Leeds outfit. As one might expect The Declining Winter is a continuation of Hood’s oceanic dream pop, only even more minimalist, given the solo nature of this project. As such, where Hood occupied the same universe as A.R. Kane, Bark Psychosis and Disco Inferno, Adams alone is more akin to Epic45, O.Rang, and My Autumn Empire. His pieces are stripped back, heartfelt guitar compositions of the highest order. The body of work that he has managed to create in a relatively short period of time is, quite frankly, astonishing.

Of all The Declining Winter releases to date, Endless Scenery may well be the most downbeat and minimal of all. This is saying a lot, frankly. Adams trades in fragile, beautiful melancholia. It is the music I am most drawn toward actually. On this album the compositions are layered around repetitive guitar patterns which act almost like drones. There is very little percussion on these acoustic led pieces making Endless Scenery a bit of a grower. No instant gratification here but patient listeners will find their reward. There is also a discernible lack of a ‘lead’ or cornerstone track. I picked out ‘Alsager Commerce’ for your listening pleasure below. You have at least a video and a glacial drumbeat to give you some idea of Adams world weary view.

The Declining Winter paint a watercolour picture of England, a blurry pastoral vista which feels instantly recognisable. At times Endless Scenery approaches the domain of IDM and acoustronica . Closing track ‘….On The Mantle’ reminded me particularly of the brilliant Last Days. I wouldn’t recommend Endless Scenery as your entry point for this music. Try Home For Lost Souls, from earlier in 2015 if you’re a newcomer. If you know The Declining Winter I guess I’m already preaching to the converted. Needless to say, I loved it.

Endless Scenery is out now on Sound In Silence in limited CD run.

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Home For Lost Souls